QUIZ: Are these lines from the US Constitution or Beethoven’s Ode to Joy?

11 September 2020, 18:04

Beethoven and George Washington
Beethoven and George Washington. Picture: Getty

By Kyle Macdonald

George Washington versus Ludwig van Beethoven. Can you tell whose words are whose?

Two iconic texts about freedom: one political, one musical. Can you tell one from the other?

The Constitution of the United States was penned in 1787 by George Washington and his founding father chums. Just one year beforehand, Friedrich Schiller wrote his poem Ode to Joy, which Beethoven chose to set to music in the climatic finale to his Ninth Symphony.

Both works, in very different ways, articulate ideals of freedom and liberty. One in legal and political text, the other in poetry. But can you tell them apart?